Friday, March 9, 2012

SuperFoods of March Month [Editor's Pick]

March is the last month of winter and first stage of spring season. It is among the first months wherein superfoods burst in gardens and in the produce aisle. Superfoods are loaded with minerals, anti-oxidants and vitamins which help to decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. In spring season, our body requires cleansing foods instead of heavy foods. For a cold night, superfoods of March provide warming characteristics while for a hot day they provide light, juicy snack. March superfoods are perfect for both types of climates: cold and warm. Seasonal foods are fresh, tasty and more nutritious compared to out-of-season food. They provide health as well give your taste buds a treat. Here are provided the list for top 7 SuperFoods of March.
SuperFoods of March Month [Editor's Pick]

Top 7 Superfoods of March

1. Rutabaga

Rutabaga, the hearty root vegetable is well-known for its sweet and mild flavor, which make us remember the light freshness of cabbage and turnip. Rutabaga looks like turnip but it is fleshier than turnip. It contains vitamin C and fiber in high amount. It also contains vitamin A and potassium in good amount. It offers many benefits such as relieves constipation & premenstrual syndrome; decreases the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes & heart stroke; prevents alopecia; repairs and protects DNA; increases milk production, stamina & digestion as well as control blood cholesterol levels.

Choose yellow to tan colored rutabaga with smooth and unblemished skin when purchasing rutabaga. You can eat rutabaga raw, fried, boiled, roasted, steamed or baked. You can also add it in soups, salads, stews, casseroles and soups stews. You can roast it and serve with meat dishes. People who are suffering from kidney problems should avoid rutabaga as it contains with mustard oil which can cause gas.

2. White Asparagus

The white asparagus is a delicate version of the green variety having milder and more delicate taste. It has tender texture compared to green variety. The white asparagus is a great source of vitamin C and fiber. It also contains thiamin, zinc, vitamin A, Vitamin E, potassium, vitamin K, manganese, folic acid, selenium and glutathione in good amount. It does not contain cholesterol, sodium and fat. It maintains Heart Health, decreases birth defects, helps in arthritis and rheumatism, improves the bowel movement, controls blood sugar levels as well as prevents Urinary Tract Infections, cataract, cancer and eye problems.

Smooth, firm, straight and uniform thickness stalks which have tightly-closed tips should be selected while purchasing the white asparagus. Before cooking, you have to remove its tough, bitter peel. You can cook it in different ways such as blanched, steamed, grilled and boiled. You can also add white asparagus to soup or salads.

3. Artichokes

Artichokes are one of the vegetables that contain highest amount of antioxidants. Artichokes are rich in vitamin C, iron, potassium, folate, fiber and magnesium. Antioxidants such as silymarin, quercertin, luteolin, anthocyanins, cynarin and rutin are also contained by Artichokes vegetable. Elements like Silymarin and cynarin decrease the risk of diseases related to the liver. They have calories and sodium but in fewer amounts. They are free from fat and cholesterol. Artichokes help to decrease the risk of cancers, arthrosclerosis, heart diseases and birth defects. They improve digestion & liver function as well decrease cholesterol levels.

Always buy the dark artichokes which are heavy for their size and have tight leaves. You can steam, bake, grill, microwave and boil artichokes or just add them in salad, soups and stews. You can also make healthy recipes using artichokes. Pregnant and nursing women should consume artichoke in moderation and people having allergic reactions to Asteraceae family plants should avoid artichoke as it may cause allergic reaction.

4. Honeydew

The honeydew melon health benefits is sweet and juicy fruit as well rich in healthful nutrients. You can find this fruit in green or orange flesh. Honeydew is the great source of vitamin C which helps to boost immune system and fight infection, strep throat naturally & life-crushing stress. Just, one honeydew fulfills your 70% daily needed value of vitamin C. It also contains potassium, B vitamins like B6, thiamine, folic acid, pantothenic acid & niacin and copper in good quantity. It is high in water so you can stay hydrated in hot days.

It is low in calories & sodium and does not contain fat and cholesterol. While buying honeydew, be sure to buy honeydew which bounces back when pressed as well you feel heavy for its size. Generally, it is consumed as breakfast food, snacks, garnishes and desserts. It is also added to sweet/savory salad or spring soup. Honeydew contains 14 g natural sugar so people who are watching their carbohydrate consumption should eat it in moderation.

5. Cherimoya

Many people not know about this delicious heart-like custardy fruit. Cherimoya has leather-like green skin and soft, white flesh which taste like a mixture of papaya, mango, lemon, banana, passionfruit and pineapple. It is a great source of potassium, fiber and vitamin C. It also contains phosphorus, vitamin B6, Vitamin A, manganese, Vitamin E, iron and amino acids. It provides 1/5th amount of daily needed value of Vitamin C. Cherimoya helps to decrease blood cholesterol, boost immune system, improve cardiovascular system, alleviate numbness in legs and prevent worm infestation.

While purchasing, select the firm cherimoya which is unripe and heavy for their size. Put unripe cherimoya at room temperature to allow it to ripe. When cherimoya becomes soft as a ripe avocado you can eat it. You can enjoy it like a watermelon or cut it into cubes and add it to fruit salad/ Greek yogurt along with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also make puree of it and use as pie filling or mousse.

6. Peas

Green peas are loaded with vitamins, phyto -nutrients, anti-oxidants and minerals. They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, ß-sitosterol, iron, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folic acid, manganese, pantothenic acid, thiamine and dietary fiber. These sweet, juicy peas are low in calories and contain no cholesterol. They help to decrease cholesterol & high blood pressure; boost immune system; prevent stroke, anaemia, arthritis, heart disease and atherosclerosis; improve immune function; maintain healthy vision; lower the risk of cancer, cataracts age-related and macular degeneration as well as relieve constipation & gastro-intestinal issues.

Buy fresh pods which are full of seeds and heavy in hands. You must avoid wrinkled surface and over-matured peas. You can also buy frozen peas if fresh are not available. You can serve peas as dinner sides, or add them in pastas, soups and salads. Peas are safe with no side effects so eat them and be healthy.

7. Fava Beans

Fava Beans are highly nutritious legumes which are usually supposed to be the tastiest bean. Fava Beans are extremely high in fiber, protein and folate. They provide 85% daily required value of fiber. They contain iron, riboflavin, vitamin K, thiamine, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin-B6, potassium, niacin and vitamin A in high amount. They also contain Levo-dopa which helps to prevent Parkinson's disease and dopamine responsive dystonia disorders. They are very low in fat & calories and have no cholesterol.

Fava Beans are available in fresh, canned and dried form. Go for crisp-looking pods, if you are buying fresh fava beans whereas select shiny and smooth beans while buying dried fava beans. You can add fava beans in salads, appetizers and omelets, pasta dishes, soups and casseroles. Fava Beans can cause gastric problems as they are high in complex carbohydrates.


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